The effect of Covid-19 legislation on permitted development

· All businesses, except a small number of essential services like supermarkets and pharmacies, have been forced to close by the government because of Covid-19.
· The government has temporarily relaxed planning legislation to allow these non-essential businesses, like pubs, restaurants and cafes, to quickly implement a change of use and operate temporarily as food takeaways.
· In ordinary circumstances, a planning application to the local authority would be required in order for hot food takeaways to operate.
· Amendments to The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order were made by parliament on 23 March 2020. This is a statutory instrument permitting types of development without the need for planning permission and will now allow pubs, restaurants and cafes to operate for the provision of takeaway food.
· The change of use may be implemented by businesses any time between 24 March 2020 and 23 March 2021.

The following conditions should be considered:
o The local planning authority should be notified that the land is now being used for provision of takeaway food.
o The original land use will be retained even during the use of permitted development right.
o The use of land will revert to its previous use by the end of the period, or earlier, if temporary use ceases before 23 March 2021.

· It is important to note that physical changes that are associated to the temporary use are still likely to require planning permission.
If you have any questions, please contact Gemma Sullivan.


This article is prepared with the intention of providing general information on the changes in law. Philip Ross Solicitors accept no responsibility for errors it may contain and the coverage of the topic is not comprehensive. You are advised to speak directly to the writer or another partner within this firm within any specific enquiries on the topic addressed.

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Gemma has a broad practice with experience in acquisitions & disposals, landlord and tenant work, secured lending, planning agreements and general commercial property agreements such as overage and option agreements.